You’ve done it! You’ve created a body of work that you’re proud of and now you want to share it with the world! Great! Where to start? One of the biggest struggles of any independent author is marketing. It’s something that I think is harder than beginning and completing any manuscript. I’ve scoured the catacombs of the Internet in search of tips on how to market an e-book to readers who would be interested in the story I’m telling. The most consistent advice that I’ve stumbled upon so far is “you need to build a platform.”
Now, if you’re a brand new indie author like I am and have no idea what the hell a platform is, well, join the club. You’re not alone. I’ve always understood a platform to be either (1) an elevated bed, (2) something elevated that you stand on, or (3) what beliefs you are for or against (e.g. a political party’s platform). Then, I stumbled upon this nifty little article by Gary McLaren who succinctly breaks down what a platform is and how/why it’s in important. Basically, if you’re promoting something, you have to connect with like-minded people and tell them what you’re about and why they should give your product (book) a chance.
If you’re looking for a more in depth explanation on platform building, here’s a more comprehensive article by Christina Katz from Writer’s Digest. She discusses 3 things one should do: have a body of expertise, create or discover a niche market, and finally, have organic connections with your audience (don’t just hit that “like” or “retweet” button!). Katz then provides 10 different ways to connect with you audience and how performing these steps will help elevate you and your book to the next level. The most interesting step provided was volunteering. Katz provided an example of how a young adult author volunteered to shuttle guests to a writing conference from the airport. This resulted in a chance meeting with an editor who previously rejected her work. After speaking with the editor, she learned why her work was rejected and what she could do to improve it. After gaining the inside knowledge and tweaking some things, she wound up having a great career in writing.
So, put yourself in opportunistic ventures! You never know what may happen. What have your self-promotional experiences been? Has cultivating a platform from scratch been difficult or, do you find it easy? Leave your comments or contact me on social media!